Instant Coffee Manufacturing Instant coffee was invented in the seventeen hundreds by the British. However, the first manufacturing technique was developed over 150 years later by the Japanese. The primary reasons developing instant coffee were: a reduction in the product volume would allow for easier storage and transportation, increased shelf-life and preservation of excess coffee. As the demand for instant coffee increased, coffee manufactures devised their own methods of instant coffee production. Today, there are two main methods available: freeze-drying and spray-drying techniques. Instant coffee made from freeze drying is a very intense process and requires more time and also capital investment. However, the taste of freeze dried coffee is more like that of a freshly brewed cup of coffee than spray dried coffee. However, spray drying is a lot more cost effective and quicker. Production of instant coffee using spray drying begins with grinding the coffee beans and then passing softened water through various hot columns of the ground beans. The mixing between this hot water and ground coffee beans eradicates unwanted gases and improves the flavor. Next, the solution is cooled and then sent to filtration to increase concentration. Before going into the dehydration phase, the gases present in the coffee mixture are altered yet again, in order to enhance the aroma and flavor. Finally, the coffee solution is converted to powder form by putting the product through a spray dryer. From the image, you can see that the coffee extract is subject to air heated by an indirect gas fired air heater, in order to evaporate the water. An indirect air heater is used in order to preserve the flavor of the solution, as indirect heating does not subject the coffee mixture to the products of combustion, like a direct fired air heater. The dry coffee particulates then collect at the bottom of the chamber and are ready to be sprayed even more with aromas and then sent to packaging.
For more information on indirect heating of products, please visit Stelter & Brinck at http://www.stelterbrinck.com/indirect-fired-air-heaters.htm or call 513-367-9300.
Keywords: indirect air heaters, coffee production, spray dryer, coffee flavoring, instant coffee manufacturing, coffee beans